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The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal statute that protects the rights of workers who need to take leave for medical reasons or to take care of a family member who is ill. In general, it allows workers to take unpaid leave under these circumstances and protects their jobs. If you believe that you have been fired for either requesting or taking FMLA leave, a Los Angeles wrongful termination lawyer can hold your employer accountable and help you put your termination behind you. 

Do You Qualify for FMLA Protection?

All employers with 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius are obligated to provide leave under FMLA. For employees to qualify, they must meet the following criteria: 

  • You have worked for your employer for at least 12 months, and
  • You worked at least 1,250 hours in the 12 months prior to your leave request.

If your employer has fewer than 50 employees or you do not meet the above criteria, you are not entitled to leave under FMLA. This means that your employer could terminate you if you need to take extended leave for medical reasons or to take care of a family member. Otherwise, you are entitled to job protection if you need to take leave under the FMLA and should contact a dedicated wrongful termination attorney if your employer has terminated you for requesting or taking leave.   

The California Family Rights Act

The good news is that California has its own version of the FMLA known as the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) that provides broader protection for employees. While the eligibility requirements for employees are the same as FMLA, CFRA applies to employers with 5 or more employees. It also makes it easier for employees to document their need for leave and provides protection to employees who need to take care of a domestic partner. Do not assume, therefore, that you have no claim if your employer is not covered by FMLA. Instead, reach out to a skilled wrongful termination attorney for guidance. 

When You Should Contact a Los Angeles Wrongful Termination Lawyer

You should contact an attorney as soon as possible if your employer has fired you for requesting or taking leave under either FMLA or CRA. However, not every case of wrongful termination is obvious. You should reach out to an attorney if you have experienced any of the following: 

  • Your employer states or implies that they cannot guarantee your job will be available when you return if you take leave
  • Your employer states or implies that you will have to accept be passed over for promotion or suffer other adverse consequences 
  • Your employer assigns you less favorable duties or hours or seems to be otherwise trying to get you to quit (sometimes referred to as “constructive termination”) once you request leave or after you return from leave

A lawyer can help you push back against your employer’s attempts to deny you your rights. If you have already been terminated, they can help hold your employer accountable. 

Speak with a Los Angeles Wrongful Termination Lawyer Today 

Whether you have been terminated or are worried about losing your job, Attorneys for Employees can help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation about your rights under FMLA and CFRA.